Android EFB ?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by jaybee, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. jaybee

    jaybee Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've looked intently on buying an iPad to use Foreflight, Stratus and Gyronimo has some great apps.

    So the questions are does Foreflight have any Android plans ?

    Are there any Android EFBs that measure up to what iPad has going for it ?

    Thanks.
     
  2. poadeleted21

    poadeleted21 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm using Garmin Pilot on my iPad (There is an Android version), I can't really warm up to it after using ForeFlight. Just waiting on my subscription to expire before I go back to FF.
     
  3. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    Garmin pilot is probably the pick of the litter for Android.
     
  4. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    FF has no current plans for an Android app. But I suspect that once the "feature wars" slow down and there is more Android tablet interest by pilots, that could change.

    Who knows? Maybe the first really great one will be when Hilton decides to bring the Android WingX app (which doesn't deserve the name) up to the level of the iOS version.
     
  5. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Avilution and Naviator are certainly worth a look.
     
  6. ebtech

    ebtech Filing Flight Plan

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    Take a look at Avare. Relatively new but coming along nicely.
     
  7. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Garmin Pilot is OK. It seems to be best. But I simply have to say that it is unacceptable to crash right before frequency change to Tower on approach. Yes, I had this happen on a VFR flight to Santa Rosa. Good thing I had my frequencies written down. I do not trust that thing to work as designed.

    I've been looking at alternatives, and they are all less stable.

    A lot of the answer depends on what you mean by "EFB." That actually means charts and documents. NOTHING integrates an external checklist, W&B, and charts well.

    And no flight planning tool (which is NOT an EFB function) seems to allow for multiple cruise altitudes. Sorry, I really don't like to stay at 13000 after a mountain pass traversal, as it isn't very comfy for the passengers and there is that pesky 30 minute rule for oxygen. I'll drop down to, say, 3000 AGL (or, maybe, a VFR altitude?). And step-climbs are often necessary around Class B, which affects timing for checkpoints.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  8. jaybee

    jaybee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Looking at Garmin Pilot it looked comparable to Foreflight but I was immediately turned off by -
    • GDL 39 has ADS-B but will only connect via Bluetooth with Garmin Products and iPad
    • GLO will connect with all mobile devices but does not have ADS-B

    So, for ADS-B, weather, flight planning, EFB I was just looking for a comprehensive package that was simple. So far, though I prefer Android, it seems iPad has the upper hand in sheer simplicity of getting what you want.
     
  9. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    In another discussion, someone mentioned that the big barrier to ForeFlight on the Android operating system is that (as I understand it) each Android-based hardware OEM can modify the operating system for their own purposes. Once that happens, cross-platform compatibility becomes an issue, and ForeFlight isn't prepared to deal with that. OTOH, there is no such issue in the Apple iOS universe.
     
  10. tehmightypirate

    tehmightypirate Line Up and Wait

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    This is what I use on my phone. Pretty much the only reason I haven't gotten a true EFB is the lack of Android support. Kinda shocked/annoyed that it's still basically go Apple or go home.
     
  11. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Pretty much the same with ForeFlight and its Stratus partnership. ForeFlight doesn't work with any ADS-B receiver than Stratus and Stratus doesn't work with anything other than ForeFlight.

    Basic external iOS-compatible GPS units (including GLO) work with all location-based apps. And if non-exclusivity is important to you, you will want to check out WingX Pro.
     
  12. jaybee

    jaybee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    @ Mark - not necessarily non-exclusivity, Garmin Pilot and GDL 39 looks like it would be fine if it would connect to Android via bluetooth... but as it stands only Garmin and iPad....( which if I'm going iPad then it will be Foreflight based on prior usage )

    I basically don't want/can't have multiple devices, wiring, etc, etc all over the cockpit - simplicity is key :)

    Looking more into Wing X...
     
  13. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    Garmin pilot and GDL 39 work fine via bluetooth on Android. Jay Honeck's been using them for over a year now.
     
  14. jaybee

    jaybee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Okay, guess Garmin should clarify on their website then :eek: , thanks !
     
  15. jtheune

    jtheune En-Route

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    I'm somewhat surprised at the number of people who are not looking at android. I've been using Naviator on android for almost 2 years and really like it. I don't currently have a ADSB unit although it supports several. There are more options on Android then IOS although from what I've read for IOS it really is FF as the leader.
     
  16. jaybee

    jaybee Cleared for Takeoff

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  17. jdwatson

    jdwatson Line Up and Wait

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    I'd love to stay Android, but it's difficult to ignore the advantages of Apple. I love my Galaxy S4. When it comes to apps for aviation *and* music recording/composition/practice Apple reins supreme. I need an all-in-one box, or as close as I can get. I get it all in a laptop format, but tablets are all over the place with iPad in the lead in both market and mindshare. For day-to-day stuff, I don't see much difference in platforms until I add aviation, periodicals and musician apps, then Android kind of shrinks. There is little parity between Android apps and Apple apps from the same vendor. Some development teams do a good job, but Android is the port from Apple, not the other way around. Sadly, that means loss of functionality and at time usability suffers as well. Now, I just have to lobby for enough storage to be sure that everything has a place. :)
     
  18. Jim_R

    Jim_R Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I've been an iFly user for about 3 years and really like that device. They're working on an Android version right now (it's currently in beta release) and I'm looking forward to that.

    I haven't used FF (not an iOS guy), but an iFly version for the iPad was recently released and FF users here on POA kind of pooh-poohed the product. Current iFly owners seem pretty happy with the iPad version.

    I think one place where Adventure Pilot (makers of iFly) are positioning themselves to be competitive is in multi-device data subscriptions. And since they're tying to keep the user experience pretty common across all platforms, if you have an iFly and an iPad, or an iFly and an Android tablet, or even (if there is such a person) an iPad and and Android tablet, it will be pretty seamless moving between your devices.

    They also are working hard to ensure support for pretty much every portable ADSB receiver or transceiver out there. (Well, except for Stratus and Garmin who have consciously chosen not to play with others.)
     
  19. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Um - not sure if this qualifies, but I'm going with Anywhere Map.

    http://store.controlvision.com/android.html#page=General-Info

    Android, you can get their Samsung Tab, or download it on your own. Maybe it's not a fully, fully fledged EFB, but looks like it'll do the job well. They have a pretty good history as well. It's what I'll be getting soon. 14 day trial, 'cones of safety', integrated app plates, and appears to do a simplified Vnav for those wanting vertical guidance.

    No affiliation.
     
  20. jaybee

    jaybee Cleared for Takeoff

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    After reading about different apps all day i eventually had to identify what was important to me - simplicity, wireless, geo-ref charts and in flight weather are the tops of the list.

    Being able to file Duats, pre-flight weather, etc, not really a big concern.

    Last question because I've never tried it but can you run a music app at altitude and listen via BT to your Zulu headset ?
     
  21. C182P

    C182P Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It's true that OEMs can make certain changes to the Android release they distribute, but if this is claimed to be a significant factor by FF, I have to believe they're using it as a convenient excuse to stay out of that segment of the market. Realistically, a) changes made by the OEM don't have more than a visual (if any) effect to 3rd party applications (rather they either add their own additional apps and/or affect general appearances but not operation), and b) there are a small number of Android tablets that have a volume of interest (perhaps only one: Samsung), making the QA process more simple than it would sound.

    I don't use Android anymore but before using an iPad I had a Motorola (pre-Google) Xoom that I ran Garmin Pilot on. When I changed to the iPad I initially started using GP there as well and noticed the iPad version was a little ahead in features but functionally they were nearly identical... Garmin did a great job attacking the cross-platform issues. This is not to say that FF could do it easily, nor that it's worth it financially for them to do so (I have no idea). Converting code from iOS to Android is certainly not trivial... there are some significant issues to consider that could make it too much trouble, but as a developer (including Android software that had to run on multiple disparate OEM systems) I do not feel that cross-Android-platform issues are anywhere near the long pole in the tent.

    As to "no such issue in the Apple universe" this seems to be changing as Apple releases more hardware that differs from its previous generations... things aren't too badly fragmented now, but I wouldn't be surprised if there's a very different story in a year or three.
     
  22. patmike

    patmike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I used Avare on a flight last week. Worked pretty good on my Samsung galaxy tab.
     
  23. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You should be able to. I can do it with my DC Pro-X using either my iPad or Android phone and assume a good headset like the Zulu has hat capability.

    If you're using you EFB hardware, just remember that Bluetooth is a big battery drainer for both systems. So I typically use my phone for this and not my iPad.
     
  24. mrindian

    mrindian Pre-Flight

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    Take a look at ifly.adventurepilot.com. They just came out with the iPad version of there software and the android version is in beta now.
    Great s/w I highly recommend giving it a look

    The company owners are pilots and keep updating it per user requests.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  25. MSPAviator

    MSPAviator Cleared for Takeoff

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    For VFR only, Avare is great and totally free!
     
  26. Neal Howard

    Neal Howard Cleared for Takeoff

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    I just recently got a Nexus 7 (2013 edition) and downloaded Avare and all the VFR charts. I've only used it on two flights so far, but it does work pretty well. The Nexus 7 screen is even usable in bright daylight under the RV's bubble canopy. I'll probably try out some of the other apps, but Avare gets the job I needed done quite nicely. ;)
     
  27. FlightAssistant

    FlightAssistant Filing Flight Plan

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    You can have a look at FlightAssistant (warning: I am the author).

    The website : http://www.flightassistant.org/
    On Google Play : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.droidfa

    It is probably more basic than the commercial alternatives and requires a bit more of your time to set it up (I confess the map set up is still fairly manual), but if you look for basic VFR flight planning, moving map, airport diagrams and infos all in one place, it is probably worth a try.

    Hope this helps,
    JM

    PS: I am very happy to get feebback from users in the US.
     
  28. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    FlightAssistant is quite good if you have Internet. Otherwise, the effort to install offline maps and especially to keep them current is a deal-breaker.

    Obviously, Internet on the aircraft will be a problem (barring really expensive solutions like SatCom), but it can be nice for preflight planning.
     
  29. Neal Howard

    Neal Howard Cleared for Takeoff

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    I just downloaded and tried FlightAssistant. Not having an easy way to download all the maps you need in a quick and easy way is a problem.

    That's where Avare really shines. When I first installed it, it prompted me to download the maps right away and since I had a really fast WiFi connection at the office, I was able to download literally everything in about an hour. Avare also has a nice one-button update for easily updating any expired maps/afds/etc.
     
  30. FlightAssistant

    FlightAssistant Filing Flight Plan

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    Better managing maps (and their download) is on our TODO, but I must confess we have not found the right way to do it yet (as I would not want to be limited to a geography).

    Avare does a great job at this indeed... Provided you are a US/Canadian pilot... Granted, most of you guys here are, but that is not everyone in the world.

    Thanks for your feedback anyways,
    JM
     
  31. AcroGimp

    AcroGimp Cleared for Takeoff

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    In order of preference:

    Garmin Pilot
    Avilution Aviation Maps
    Avare

    Garmin Pilot and Avilution's Aviation Maps apps are both very good, great interfaces, solid and stable performance, both can be driven from FSX as a data source to train their use before you fly, and both about the same for geo-ref'd charts and approach plates from a cost standpoint.

    Garmin wins on download interface and overal customization.

    'Gimp
     
  32. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    am experimenting with avnav. so far I like it.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
     
  33. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    linkee-poo?

    sent from my brain, using my fingers.
     
  34. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    search google play store?

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
     
  35. Flyhound

    Flyhound Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm a passionate supporter of Avilution. The app sports multiple Bluetooth and WiFi GPS and ADSB units as well as your tablet's built in GPS. The ease of shifting between the moving map, airport info and weather info is the best I've used. Creating flight plans with text entry, or graphical entry is easy and waypoints can be inserted anywhere in the pan easily. I run Avilution on an Asus Transformer Infinity Pad running Android 4.1.2 and I'm a very happy camper. I used it with a Dual ADSB when I flew my new Maule from Seattle, WA to Manassas, VA in June of 2013 and it performed flawlessly. It helped me a of the thunderstorms that raged across the plains last summer and that sold me on ADSB with the moving map for XC flights! [​IMG]
     
  36. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    That is the most compelling reason I've heard. Trying to support multiple OpSys dialects would be a time consuming and frustrating process. This is what happened in the Unix days and it was murder when trying to port and maintain realtime applications.
     
  37. ifconfig

    ifconfig Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You say that as if the Unix days gone. (Don't tell Apple!) :rofl:
     
  38. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not when you design for portability. I've had minimal trouble porting my POSIX telescope simulator. The biggest issue was byte order, and that was solved once and it has never broken.
     
  39. Jim_R

    Jim_R Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    FF can mumble all the rationale they want to, but the bottom line is, they've drawn a very small box around what they want to support and they are firmly resistant to enlarging the box. By focusing on iPad only and Stratus only, I'm sure they've helped themselves from a development/support resources standpoint. Though they chose that small a box for themselves, they at least located it in a densely-populated customer area, so they seem to be doing good for themselves.

    If, as a customer, you're willing to live with FF's constraints, then I think you are well-served. If you don't like those constraints, then you're out of luck.

    Adventure Pilot is an outfit with only a handful of guys, and yet somehow they're developing an EFB that's available on their original Windows CE device as well as iPad and Android (I'm currently running the beta on my Galaxy S4 phone and Nexus 7 tablet). Also, they're supporting just about every portable ADSB receiver or transciever that's out there (except for Garmin and Stratus, who have put up walls and won't play nicely with others), and a couple of AHRS devices to boot.

    AP shows that Android development can be done and it doesn't take a marching army of coders to do it.

    The fact that there are about a bazillion apps in the Google Play store that work fine on multiple platforms shows that it can be done.

    FF just simply doesn't want to do it.
     
  40. Jim_R

    Jim_R Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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